Ringworm is very contagious and can infect people as well as dogs. In fact, it’s especially contagious to children. It’s important, therefore, both for your dog’s health and for your family’s too, that you know how to spot the signs of ringworm in dogs.
Ringworm in dogs
Despite its name, ringworm is not actually a worm at all. Rather, it’s a number of different types of fungi. These are very contagious and infest the top layer of skin. They cause ring-shaped, scaly, itchy spots. These itchy, round spots are the tell-tale sign of ringworm and are easily visible on humans. If you see them on yourself or members of your family you should seek medical advice.
Ringworm in dogs is a little harder to spot because although they get the same itchy spots, they can be hard to see because of the dog’s coat. In fact, if your dog has a mild case of ringworm you may not even notice it. In more severe cases, you’ll find scales of skin like dandruff in the dog’s coat and the dog’s skin may appear scaly and crusty. You may also see bald patches and hair loss – round patches on the head or the tail.
Ringworm responds well to treatment, which usually consists of anti-fungal ointments and creams for mild cases. In more severe cases, your dog may be given a course of oral anti-fungal drugs. This course of drugs usually lasts for about six weeks. It’s important that you stick to the treatment plan set up by your vet.
Because ringworm lives in the skin and the hair, it can be easily transmitted by hairs on furniture and carpets. For this reason, you should give your house a good clean when ringworm has been diagnosed.
As a dog owner you should be aware of ringworm in dogs and know how to spot it and recognize the symptoms. It’s usually easily treatable but you should always seek your vet’s advice.